The new direction of the business is marked by the publication of a report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), which reveals the UK’s public services are under greater strain than ever before. The research, commissioned by Sopra Steria, warns that a public spending gap of £300bn is likely to emerge over the next seven years, brought on by the cumulative impact of an ageing population and the cost of easing austerity. The looming threat of a hard Brexit could contribute a further £50bn towards a predicted public spending black hole by 2025.
In lieu of alternative fiscal measures to redress the public spending gap, the NIESR report points towards improving the efficiency of public service delivery so that more can be achieved with less. Sopra Steria’s new look government business is designed to deliver exactly that, helping to revive current public service operating models to cope with society’s swelling needs.
The repositioning sees Sopra Steria become a government partner that enables end-users. It plans to deploy technologies such as the Internet of Things, AI and automation to drive efficiencies while facilitating more joined-up government services and transforming the experiences of citizens.
Commenting on the launch, Sopra Steria Managing Director for Government, Adrian Fieldhouse, said:
“The government faces a significant challenge as it attempts to modernise and transform public services whilst tightly managing public spending. Citizen expectations of both the accessibility and the quality of public services are rising as they compare them to those they receive from the private sector using digital techniques.
“Hiking public sector spending isn’t a viable option; not only would it break the Chancellor’s fiscal rules it would also be unpopular with the electorate. In addition, we need to brace ourselves for Brexit, undoubtedly the biggest disrupter to our public services since the dawn of the NHS.
“If we want different outcomes, then in my view, we need to do things differently and do different things. The pace of technological change shows no signs of slowing down – in fact, quite the opposite. We believe that harnessing this to both increase efficiency and deliver new models of public service will not only ease the problem, but make the public service experience of UK citizens a world-leading one.
“If we don’t, our public services may face an untenable situation, where they cannot deliver services in the way they have always done. Simply because, the public purse won’t sustain it.”
Sopra Steria is a transformation specialist that has worked with government for over 50 years, delivering programmes for the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Passport Office and the Department of Education, among others. It is also at the forefront of innovative shared services joint ventures for the Cabinet Office (SSCL) and NHS (SBS).
To find out more about Sopra Steria, visit www.soprasteria.co.uk. To read the NIESR/ Sopra Steria report in full, visit https://goo.gl/qnTxRr.